The Let's Play Archive

Ar Tonelico II

by Feinne

Part 67: Cloche's Soulspace, Level 6

Let's resume the simulation...


Things are already taking a peculiar turn.

What the hell is SHE doing here?

L-Luca!? What are you wearing!?
Hehe, isn't it cool? What do you think? Do I look good in it?
Well that's not the point... Anyway, where's Lady Cloche?
She's just getting ready for her duties. She's getting made up to stand in front of everyone.
I see... Do you think you can take me there?
Sure! Come with me.

Yeah she's taking you to a PRISON dumbass.

Yup, that's right!
Lady Cloche, you've got a visitor!
No... Don't look at me!

Oh my god I can't stop laughing...

No, no, no! Don't look!
Awww, how cute. She's throwing a fit.
Oh and look, Croix is staring at you from top... to bottom.
No! Please don't look!
I'm not staring at you! Luca, what's this all about!?
Like I said, she's just getting ready to go address the people.
No! You must be joking... I can't go out in front of everyone like this!
It's no joke. We spent a lot of time on you. It would be a waste not to show you off now.
You monster! Demon! Pervert!
Hm? Do you really mean that? I wouldn't want to have to punish you again...
I'm going out for a bit. I don't know how long, but just keep waiting for me, okay?
Nooo! Please don't leave me!
Well, you can come along if you want. That is, if you can keep up!
That's impossible! I'm blindfolded and my legs are tied together! I'm sorry! Please forgive me!

This is really strange, though, because this 'Luca' doesn't feel quite right.

Luca! What is going on? Why are you doing this?
Hm? What are you talking about?
She likes doing this. She does it to herself. I'm just helping her.
That's... ridiculous.
She appreciates me. She's never even scolded me for it...
No, you're lying. I'm going to let her go.
Alright... but you better take responsibility for your actions.
I don't know what you're trying to do, but she might disappear if you mess up.
...What does that mean?
I don't know. Anyway, I'm going out to the city.
Hey! Luca...
...What is going on?

He just doesn't get it. Not a surprise.

A speech...?
It's been a while! I like her speeches. She looks so strong, beautiful, and cool.
I can't wait to see her. It's been so long. You should come with me!
I can't, I have something else to do. Sorry...
How boring! Fine. I'll just go with Amarie instead. Boo.
It would be terrible if they saw Lady Cloche as she is now.
I need to do something fast...

This level is rife with infiltration from elsewhere in the Soulspace. It's quite strange.

...Who's there!?
Paladin: I'm Solar Paladin. I'm a creation of Cloche's mind.
Solar... Paladin?
Paladin: Cloche is in deep trouble right now. So deep that... this kind of level has been created.
What do you mean?
Paladin: There have been many confusing instances in her mind lately.
What are you talking about!?
Paladin: The biggest instance invaded her Cosmosphere like an infection, and created an actual level out of it.
And this is the result. The 6th level.
I didn't know that could happen...
Paladin: Yes. This is a very serious situation. You need to make a Paradigm Shift happen as soon as possible.
What if I can't?
Paladin: Cloche's personality will be affected. A huge hole might appear in her mind, causing it to collapse.
What? How did this happen!?
Paladin: I'm not sure yet... But that Luca girl seems suspicious.
This level appeared with Luca in this Cosmosphere, and started growing out of control.
She's been taking over from the start of this level.

I did think that was odd. But that shouldn't be possible if she's something from outside the Cosmosphere.

Paladin: If you don't mind, will you help me with my research?
Of course, I'm here to protect Lady Cloche.
I was thinking about what Luca said earlier, too...
Paladin: Thank you. I'm glad that someone like you is here. You're not affected by the power of this world.
Even if a great power unleashes its force, you'll be able to hold yourself together.
I'm glad to have you around, too.
Paladin: Anyway, let's go help out Cloche, and ask her what she knows.
System Message: Magic [Brave Thunder : Lv 3A] "Solar Paladin" acquired.

Feinne's Fourth Wall Lectures:
Solar Paladin is the evolution of Jean Ishikawa. I really like this magic and when I'm on Cloche's path I use it heavily.

So Croix teamed up with the unsettlingly satellite like Song Magic that probably shouldn't be here. That's going to turn out so well.

Is that you, Croix?
Yes. I'm glad you're alright.
Where's Luca!? She's not back yet?
I don't know. Lady Cloche, let's hurry out of here, before she comes back. Hurry...
I'm staying here. I don't know what Luca would do to me, if I left...
Paladin: This is bad. She's been completely brainwashed by Luca. We need to get her out of here!
...Alright. Lady Cloche, I'm sorry. I don't want to force you to do anything, but...
What are you doing?
I'm going to carry you out.
No! I don't want to! I need to stay here or... I won't be able to be myself!
No! Let me down!
Damn... This is nothing compared to my feelings for Lady Cloche!
Let go! Let goooo!
Paladin: Here, hurry to safety!

Wait, I think she said something important there. Hmm...

Lady Cloche, calm down! What the hell did Luca do to you!?
It doesn't matter! I just wanna go back to Luca...!
That's ridiculous. How can you like Luca after what she's done to you?
I hate her! I wish Luca would disappear!
So what's going on!? Does she know some kind of weakness about you?
I... need to be with Luca! I'm so slow and stupid, and I can't do anything by myself...
What!? Who told you that?
I can't live without her... Please take me back. Otherwise, I'll be punished.
Paladin: Hmm, this is bad. Looks like we can't get any information out of her.
Croix, I'm sorry, but will you go around town and gather some information from the people?
Yeah, sure, I'll be back soon.
No! Croix! Don't leave me alone!
Lady Cloche, please calm down! I'm just going out for a bit. I'll be back soon.
Please don't lock me in here! I'll do anything! I can bear anything else! Just please don't leave me alone.
...I'm sorry. Lady Cloche, I'll be back soon.
I can't stand this...
I need to gather information about Lady Cloche. Why is she acting like this? Would Luca know!?

Smart idea. Ask the person TO BLAME. Half-wit.

Captain! What are you doing here?
Can't you see? I'm preparing for Lady Cloche's speech.
Apparently, it's supposed to be big news. It's going to be worth preparing for.
...What is going to be the big news!?
I heard she's going to reveal her true self. I'm looking forward to it. Heh heh heh...
What is her true self? Have you heard anything about it?
Isn't that what she's supposed to tell us?
More people are going to show up this time. I need as much help as I can get.
I'm sorry, but I have to excuse myself!
H-hey Croix! Aren't you going to help me!?

No, I'm looking for Luca. Have you seen her?
What? Luca? I don't know, but Luca is...
Cocona! Sorry for making you wait!
Amarie! You're so late. We might miss he speech!
Hehehe, I'm sorry. Anyway, you wanna hear something crazy?
Hm!? What, what!?
Well, apparently, the Lady Cloche we know is actually a fake.
A fake?
...! What!?
I heard that there is a "Real Cloche", and that's what this speech is gonna be about!
Hmm, I wonder how it's going to be... I'm kind of excited!
...? Cro? What's wrong?
Nothing. I'm going to excuse myself now.
What, come with us. I'm sure it'll be fun.

Oh. Heh. That's what this is all about then. Obvious in retrospect.

And she's here. This is such a train wreck.

Whoa! You scared me!
Hey... where's Cloche?
I was here... with Cloche.
Is it... because I let Lady Cloche out!?
I'm all alone... I'm so lonely...
I'm all alone in this dark room. I'm so scared. It's so cold...
...I'm so sorry, Alice. It's all because of me.
Do you want to go see Lady Cloche with me?
Alright then, come with me.

Oh yes, I'll take this anomalous entity to go see the person she's looking for. I mean does he NEVER think through anything for more than ten seconds?

No, I couldn't find any related information.
I just heard that Lady Cloche is about to give a speech about the "Real Cloche."
Paladin: The Real Cloche!?
Paladin: By the way, who is this girl?
Oh, her name is Alice. You don't know about her, either?
*gasp * Is that...?
I... finally found Cloche...
It's been so long... Some power was preventing it from happening, but this place seems weak in that power.
Cloche... I missed you. I missed you for a long time...
*gasp * ...No, go away! Go away!
Lady Cloche!?
Why...? I want to be with you, Cloche. I want to be one with you...
Go away! Don't come near me!
Whoa! What the...?

Hardly unexpected if that thing is what I think it is.

Don't come near me! Go away! Don't touch me!
I've never seen this happen...
Paladin: This is very critical. We need someone to keep that girl away. She must be...
Hey! What the hell are you guys doing!?
Hurry up and take Lady Cloche back to the prison!
What do you mean!?
I'll explain later! Just take her back first!
Paladin: I'll help!

No, don't listen to her! I want to see what happens when they merge! Dammit!

What the hell did you do!? Lady Cloche almost disappeared!
I'm sorry, but I just don't get this. What am I supposed to do?
Don't do anything! There is no place for you here.
Lady Cloche can't live without me. She will start disappearing...
Just like she did earlier.
What!? ...That was because of you? I thought it was because of Alice...
...Alice!? Who?
Paladin: Sounds like Luca couldn't see Alice.
...Is that right?
Paladin: It happens a lot in this world. There is always a meaning to what you can and can't see.
What are you guys talking about!? Well, whatever. Anyway...
*gasp *
I'll have to punish little Lady Cloche...
You seem to like it!

I should during the speech! ...Hehe, are you excited, Lady Cloche?
Wait... no! Please! Don't!
Luca, stop it already! I won't let you do this!
Paladin: I'm with Croix. I can't keep watching what you're doing.
I was going to gather information to back my theory... but there's no time for that.
You want to get rid of me!? Go ahead, if you think you can.
Sorry, Luca! But I'm... here to protect Lady Cloche!
Paladin: Croix! Are you ready!? We will attack at the same time!

I see. So that's nicely circular. I mean of course the silly little piece of magic doesn't know what she's talking about.

Prisma: ......
Hm? Did I go too far?
Paladin: Ugh! You're...
Prisma: How was the taste of the electricity, meow?
This is my little devil!
Paladin: This... can't be! A guest has acquired magic!?
...Looks like you're mistaken!
Paladin: ...!?
I'm not a guest here. I'm the owner of this level. I have every right in this place!
Paladin: That's ridiculous...! You can't do that if you're not Cloche!
Ugh, you are so annoying. ...Oh well. Looks like Croix is out. We will go to the stage while he is at it.
No! Stop! I don't want to go! Croix!
...Ah, oww...uh...
...! Lady Cloche!?
Crap... Luca's got her! I need to hurry before the speech begins...

Dumb stupid slow halfwits! Can't you see what's going on here!? Oh well, it probably won't matter...

I should head to the stage...
It's about to begin!
I wonder what kind of speech it's gonna be this time... I'm kind of nervous.
Hmph, I'm looking forward to how it'll turn out.
Good luck, Lady Cloche.
As an old man, I'll just sit back and watch.
Everything's ready to go. Speech! Speech! Speech!
Everyone! Thank you for waiting! We have an important announcement from Lady Cloche today!
Please sit back and listen carefully so that you don't miss anything!
And here she is... Lady Cloche!
What the...!?
Lady Cloche? No...
Ah, hahaha! How funny!
How do you feel? Everyone's watching you. Aren't you excited?
No! ...Don't look at me!

I mean this has just gone off the rails.

This is... terrible...
Hehehe... how cute. Now go ahead and say it. It'll make you feel better.
Do you want me to punish you again?
Uh, okay...
Hehe, good girl.
E-everyone... I...
I've been lying to you this whole time. I'm... I'm not really a Holy Maiden...
I'm actually a stupid, scared, lonely... Loser.
Everyone, please look at me. This... is the real me.
I'm Luca's plaything... and I can't live without her.
The real Cloche is Lady Luca... She's the real Lady Cloche of this world.
I've been deceiving you all... I'm a horrible person!
Please... please call me any names you want...
...How could this be?
Damn, this is a surprise. I don't know who to trust.
Cocona is disappointed...

Pitiful. And really cruel if I'm right about what's going on here.

Croix! Took you long enough! The speech is already over.
Why are you doing this!?
Haven't you realized it yet? This is her real self. Those were her honest words.
Lady Cloche and I have a deal.
Nooo... don't tell him!
She promised to stay with me, and gave me her position in exchange for her freedom.
This is what she wanted. Now do you understand?
That doesn't give you the right to humiliate her out in public like this!
...So you still don't get it. She wanted to do it this way.
No, that's not true! I never wished for this...
...Oh, is that so?
No, this is... what I wanted.
Hehehe! Your'e so cute! Honesty is the best policy!
Lady Cloche feels bad for the citizens, and that's what created these bars around her mind.
I'm freeing her from this, so why am I getting yelled at?

The question is what is the real goal here? She must be trying to alter the order of the Cosmosphere levels, that much is obvious, but to what end? What does she represent?

...Are you denying her of what she wants?
You're gonna get kicked out, you know?
Ugh... What should I do?
Paladin: Calm down, Croix. You can't take what Luca says to heart!
Solar Paldin? I can't figure out what's best for Lady Cloche, or what she even wants.
Paladin: ......
Should I go along with this? Is this really what she wants?
Paladin: This is going to sound awful, but it is what she wants. What happened here came from one of her wishes.
Paladin: This is the result of one of her many personalities.
I don't approve of this. I can't stand it. That's why I've come to this level.
Cloche is not someone who would give in to a little girl. She always stands firmly for her beliefs.
That's the Lady Cloche that I know. I can't imagine her being like this...
Paladin: I'm with you. That's the kind of Cloche that lives in the level I was born in. That level is deeper than here.
That means that my level is closer to the real Cloche's personality.

Paladin: I would be powerless to affect it... I must do something before that happens.
...Well, I haven't changed my mind about helping her, but...
What should I do?
Paladin: Sometimes... denial is important.
Paladin: Please, help me.
I will force a Paradigm Shift on this level.
Okay, so what do you need me to do?
Paladin: Take Cloche's mind off of Luca for just a bit. It doesn't matter what you do.
That should give the rights of this level back to Cloche.
And then I'll be able to use my power.
Okay, I'll try it...
...Hm? What's wrong? Are you giving up already?
Lady Cloche!

Still not thinking through the consequences of things.

But I love you, Lady Cloche!
Croix!? What did you say!?
I want to always be with you! I know so many good things about you!
I don't want you to be so stubborn.
I'll protect you from any criticism about Metafalica! I will protect you, Lady Cloche!
...Thank you, Croix. I... I was so scared...
You're right, though. You did say that you're here to protect me.
And I am.
Thank you...
I... love you, too.
Paladin: It's here! ...Cloche's power!
Whoa! Now that's some power! Is that how it's supposed to be!?
Paladin: Yes Croix, this is fantastic.
Crap! That's...! No, Croix! Stop her!
She's an offensive satellite! She'll destroy this world!
What!? No way!
Paladin: Croix, thank you and...
I'm sorry...

Well, that's one way to deal with a Cosmosphere level you don't like. Shame it happened so fast, I was sure I'd get an answer to my little identity question.

Looks like that's all for this. Time to recalculate the simulation parameters for the next level.

Simulation Projection: Pretty Viole